Monday, November 28, 2011

Radio and Religion as Red Ink Removers

When I was a little girl, many late afternoons and early evenings were spent facing the radio in rapt attention. Seems stupid, in retrospect, since there was nothing to see except, sometimes, a little green light that would occasionally change shape. (Funny....I still don't know what that was for.)

One of the radios I remember was quite large and stood on legs. I recall lying on the floor and resting my feet on the frame as I listened to the Lone Ranger, The Shadow, Captain Midnight or Bulldog Drummund: Tracer of Lost Persons. 

The pictures were always vivid and I had no trouble seeing the one-dimensional action play out on the screen in my mind. No question - radio was the theater of the mind. And possibly still is.

Now, in the 21st century, radio exists only in my car. I am hardly aware of it unless someone I am not related to accidentally moves the dial to a station Limbaugh is on, or, not quite equally chilling, until the day after Thanksgiving!

The calendar is still reading November and I find we have wall-to-wall, 24-hour-a day, non-stop Christmas songs ringing out across the ether. Was it always thus, and I've been unconscious? Or perhaps I just will myself to have amnesia once a year.

It's bad enough to have a whole month of listening to sappy lyrics like You Better Watch Out and Frosty the Snowman, but hearing Oh Holy Night and The First Noel in daytime traffic seems as though someone should complain about the sacrilegious aspects of using the baby Jesus, innocent angels and the unlikely virgin Mary for subliminal prodding to shop, shop, shop.

It would seem to my age-created caustically critical soul a better use of the predictable Christian bitching about people saying "Happy Holidays" rather than "Merry Christmas" if they would instead object to this manifestly avaricious use of  "holy" music to help line the pockets of the commerce-driven.

But I shouldn't quibble. Anything these soldiers of god do would irritate me. This is just one of the pleasures of being an atheist.

Incidentally, my favorite Christmas "carol" is: Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer. What are the chances?


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

When You Mention Turkey, Dennis Comes to Mind

I was just watching our President pardoning the Thanksgiving  bird. It's name - "turkey" - has a comedic connotation since our society has dubbed losers as turkeys, and therefore an object of derision or pity.

Politico had a story today about Dennis Miller chiding Jay Leno for being an Obama admirer, and as I read it, "turkey" came to mind even without the reference to the holiday. Mainly because  Dennis Miller has peculiarly awful timing and, for a comedian, that's turkey territory.

Do you recall when he was almost shockingly liberal? The emphasis was more on "shocking" than on "liberal" since he seemed to revel in more than clever-by-half,  over-the-top riffs and truly mean comparisons of people and their beliefs.

Of course, comparisons are usually mean but he was, and is, able  to make them particularly odious.

He was obvious in his quest to be seen as a cerebral liberal...a thinker with a quick wit and a funny but "thoughty" approach to the  vicissitudes of an increasingly combative  political climate.

And then, lo and behold, one of the biggest turkeys of all time, Georgie Porgie Bush, secured the election and became our fearless leader. And dopey Dennis must have read some dodgy goat entrails and decided his best bet was to put his butter on Bush bread.

For someone who wants to be seen as an intellect, maybe even more than as a comedian, this leap still mystifies me. I think he would prefer to retrieve his niche in the liberal camp, but he appears to be trapped into wearing his contrarian credentials like a gravy-stained tie.

Go to it, turkey. You won't get such an easy pardon as Obama's "Liberty" did today.


Friday, November 18, 2011

Here Comes Newtie, Again

While Newt Gingrich looks like a pudding on the outside,  I picture his interior  resembling that charcoal grey skein of wool my cat played with for a week.

Over a long life you encounter a panoply of personalities. And, if you are paying attention, you find that they can be categorized and pigeon-holed for future reference.

I recognize Newtie, I've met him before. Always under compromising circumstances.

For this reason, and others, it's useful to pay attention....but it takes its toll. If you aren't careful, you tend to get a little jaundiced in your assessments and you have to keep reminding yourself that stereotyping is a very, very bad thing. But irresistible, nevertheless.

In the instance of Newtie, I can read him like the funnies, even though I still can be surprised by his gall. I find him endlessly entertaining because he is so incredibly predictably a clown. Not a conscious clown, but one who takes himself so seriously he can't  contemplate that when he opens his mouth, in his studied verbose, but oddly  laconic fashion, he looks and sounds like a complex electronic toy that got its wires crossed.

Yes, he is a ninny, but still a source of fun because he is so clueless about his nakedness.

While I have not yet relinquished my front seat at the Cain Train theater, and still get an occasional kick out of the pray-away-the-gay duo, plus that prettier version of Georgie Porgie, I am gearing up for the media feast on Newtie's previously picked-over, hypocritical carcass.

I am so glad he is running.

Schadenfreude is one of the most useful words I have ever learned. Beyond being voluminously expressive, it has explained (and therefore excused by dint of it being a universally shared emotion)  my ungenerous reactions to the discovery of a fellow human being's clay toes.

As Rachel would say, "Where's the popcorn?" 


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pollutants On the Air

Even an accidental hearing and viewing of Limbaugh holding forth conjures up all manner of things I don't want to see, hear or smell:

Dirty underwear, him, slime mold, flies on garbage, sour milk, rotting meat, dog poo on my shoe, gingivitis, flatulence, predator priests and coaches, stoning women, and now, menstruation.

One elegant fellow, isn't he?

Making that list was totally effortless! It sprang to mind in six seconds. Because he assaults our sensibilities so thoroughly, he writes his own description.

We know why he is successful. He is an avatar for the basest emotions of the ignorant, frustrated and powerless.

The great unwashed and largely uneducated in our society attach themselves to this overweight, over-sexed, under-endowed buffoon because by attacking their opposite number -  intellectuals and the egalitarians - they are provided  with a false assurance of their own worth. And he has the reach they will never have to give voice to their  envy and frustration.

The loss of his voice, and that of his little dog, Glenn, would certainly help green up our world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Love in the Time of Circuses

I just saw side-by-side photos of Laura Ingraham and Ann Coulter  - two of the most offensive harpies in the GOP offensive arsenal.

Their blondness, juxtaposed to pictures of the two blond accusers of Herman Cain, struck me as relevant. I'll be curious to see if Cain's two other, shyer, accusers are blond, as well.

What is it about Republicans and blonds? Is it something visceral that they connect with money? I keep seeing a vision of Marilyn Monroe, blond and bedecked in diamonds. Maybe that is the key to the attraction of so-called conservatives - both those who make themselves blonds and those who covet them.

I sure do hope the on-the-record accusers join the two onstage now and pull the curtain all the way back to allow us to watch Herman explain them away. His baritone delivery of denials is going to be so much fun to replay after he is well and truly outed.

It's hard to conceive that either Ingraham or Coulter would be Herman's (or anyone's!) idea of a wet dream, but maybe that's their role for more cerebral members of their species.

Whatever, or whichever, all of these bit players have sure made this a fascinating spectacle for those of us who just watch and wait.

However, is this the time in our country's history that we should be addicted to spectacles? Is "spectacle" pro forma for Roman-style collapse?

I saw someone used the headline "Bread and Circuses" on either a newspaper story or a TV segment. I'm sorry I don't remember who.  It's a good one. 


Monday, November 7, 2011

You Don't Playa the Game - You Don't Makea the Rules

Some may recall that Earl Butz, former U.S. Agriculture Secretary, lost his job because of the joke he made referencing the Pope and his edicts.

While it was pretty tasteless joke for a Cabinet member to recite publicly,  I always thought it was funny - and fair. And I am feeling more and more like defending that premise.

U.S. Wages Today

("Today" is used advisedly; they regularly vote themselves rises.)

Salary of retired U.S. Presidents..................$450,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of House/Senate members................$174,000 FOR LIFE

Salary of Speaker of the House....................$223,500 FOR LIFE

Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders...........$193,400 FOR LIFE


Average salary of soldier deployed to Afghanistan......$38,000

Average income for seniors on Social Security............$12,000


What is your guaranteed income for life?  Is it fair?  Is it safe?

The argument against "means testing" has always been a democratic one - (big and little "d" democratic). If they paid into the system, it is decreed: They are entitled to partake of the benefits.

I'm a little "d" democrat, and I'm not sure I agree at all.

What have all the above-noted political swillers at the public trough paid into "the system"?  In far too many instances what they have paid in is a small portion of the loot garnered from the benefits of their office.

Magicians - and pickpockets - are masters of deception. They have you looking at their left hand so you aren't aware they are bamboozling you with their right hand.

Class warfare? Yes, I'll sign up for that. We need to develop a battle plan to defend ourselves. But first we need to find out who the enemy is. Could it be the "politician class" in league with the "oil/industrial military/banking/investment class against us - we  who just want a nice house, a well fed family and a productive job with adequate security. 

How many of us have a $200,000 a year pension FOR LIFE?

Maybe we need to get our attention redirected to the source of our trouble. Those guys who make the rules may need a reality adjustment. 

When you go to the polls tomorrow, keep in mind the fact that the guy or gal you are voting for is on your payroll FOR LIFE!


 Above figures published by Keith Olbermann

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Frickless Frack Skating on Thin Ice

The much anticipated divine event of having your naked ass hauled up to heaven, as foretold by Harold Camping, seems to have fizzled - twice.

But....let us not forget that the supposed prophecy of an Apocalypse by the Mayan soothsayers is scheduled for 2012. We are almost there.

After listening to Brian Williams' new show last night which featured an implied go-west-poor-man urging to get jobs galore in North Dakota where fracking is one of the newest insults to the planet, I am beginning to attribute some veracity to the belief that we are nearing the end.

Surely everyone knows now what fracking is. Driving some force...air, water, gas - all under pressure - deep into the ground (in this case, two miles down)... to dislodge and liquify all the oil-containing shale going to waste as just part of the earth's composition, structured over eons.

I believe the billionaire oilman, who is  overseeing and perhaps financing the "project," said 60 billion barrels of oil await our eager gas tanks, plastic dishware factories and divers other industries panting to convert this liquid gold  into stuff that poisons our air and our water, but helps to see we are never inconvenienced in any way.

The availability of jobs, even in North Dakota, sounds good - very  good, since they said they were looking, among other things, for 500 truck drivers, a job most men and women can do.

But "very good news" can sometimes mean unintended consequences are part of the package.

North Dakota is a whoop and a holler from Wyoming. It is, in fact, essentially juxtaposed to Yellowstone Park,  home of Old Faithful - the geyser known worldwide for its uncanny predictability and to its attachment to even greater forces that lie unseen beneath the surface. Probably two miles beneath the surface.

Yellowstone Park is a disaster waiting to happen. Don't believe me. Check it out here:

Additionally, I found an ominous-sounding observation from someone posting on describing a 1959 earthquake in Yellowstone, felt in North Dakota:

"The one and only earthquake I ever felt was the Yellowstone Earthquake in 1959. And I was north of Dickinson, North Dakota, reading in bed at the time. At first I thought something was underneath the bed so I looked. Nope, no ogre there.

"Then I thought the heifers must have gotten out and were rubbing against the house. Looked out the window, no cows. Earthquake never occurred to me. Was totally mystified until the next morning when we heard the news on the radio. My parents and brother slept through it, and didn't believe me until we heard the news!"

Read it and worry. And remember, all you frackers, it's not safe to piss off Mother Nature.